Two years ago, Cindy and I were watching a video shot to explain how bartering works with Chad who wanted a family reunion. Chad had been adopted and after finding his birth family, wanted to plan a celebration.

I understood Chad’s story for a few reasons. First, my mother had sold my siblings and I for $50 each and abandoned us. It took twenty years for me to decide to locate her and confront her about this. Finding your family is a life changing decision. Why? Your family might not want to be found. 

Chad had spoken to a few new relatives that were open to a reunion although a few others weren’t. This reunion would take months of planning. At the time, my foot was broken causing me mobility issues. 

My twin sister, Cindy, my son and his wife and my twin grandnieces all pitched in to make this Dream Event a reality for Chad. 

The video of Cindy and I was an eye opener because we had both gained weight from hitting fast food restaurants en route to our many events and were both struggling with thyroid issues as well as menopause. We hated how we looked and decided to make a change. 

Losing weight in your 40’s is far easier than in your fifties. When my twin grandnieces were born, Cindy and I were both at the same wright we had been since our mid 20’s. We stayed on top of what we ate and kept ourselves on track chasing the twins.Other than my arms bothering me, I was happy with my weight and my shape. Cindy has always been 10 lbs lighter than I and no matter how hard I tried, we’ve never been exactly the same weight. For twins, this isn’t unusual. 

By the time the twins were five years old, Cindy and I were 45 and gaining about 5 lbs a year which bothered us both but, hadn’t alarmed us just yet. It would be another five years before the creeping weight gain became a permanent part of our lives. 

Sadly, we accepted our inability to lose weight. By the time Chad contacted us through this site to barter an old truck in exchange for a family reunion, Cindy and I were at our heaviest. The video of Cindy and I with Chad was the reason that my twin and I decided to make a change and get fit in our fifties. 

A production company was seeking twins for a new show on Lifetime with Cat Deeley called This Time Next Year. We signed up. My grandnieces joined us at the gym and also lost weight. Two sets of twins went to the gym for the first time in our lives and “worked it out” while continuing to work our schedules with clients booking through The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Events & Texas Prison Weddings.

Working fitness into our burdened schedules wasn’t easy but, it was effective. Cindy and I will never be that heavy again. Between 45 years old and 50, I had undergone a full thyroidectomy and hysterectomy. My prescription for Synthroid literally “packed on the pounds.” It took me two years to get a prescription for Cytomel to take with the Synthroid to stop the weight gain which helped immensely.  Cindy had been taking menopause medication that caused weight gain and we both reeled in our love of carbs. 

Forcing ourselves to eat a small breakfast wasn’t easy. We both drank coffee until noon and then switched to tea but, small changes made big improvements. Working together as a Twin Team, Cindy and I lost 40 lbs each over a one year window while filming for This Time Next Year. 

Once a week, we filmed each other “weighing in.” We also had to take photos in bike shorts and workout bras which we both hated. But, the differences were remarkable over the year we spent together getting fit.

Two months before flying back to California to film the finale, Cindy and I also went to Camp Transformation in Fort Worth. Boot camp is tough. We didn’t think we would make it through the first five classes but, we did.   At the time we signed up, Cindy and I were both within a few pounds of our 40 lb goal weight and managed to pass it by losing 45 lbs overall. If you don’t lose weight in boot camp, something’s wrong. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done together and midway through the 8 week class, I fell and bruised my tailbone making my workouts even more difficult but, the teacher worked with me to customize a new workout plan. 

Cindy and I began skipping the drive through windows on our way to meet clients or driving to Texas Prisons. We began packing healthy snacks and staying on top of our weight loss that had been so hard for us to achieve.Maryssa and Makenna lost weight alongside us and were far better on the elliptical equipment than Cindy and I were. 

At the end of our one year window, both sets of Texas Twins went from fat to fit but, like anything in life, we learned that maintaining was a struggle. 

Maryssa and Makenna learned to make healthier choices which for teens isn’t an easy transition.Both sets of twins still struggle everyday to maintain our achieved goals. It isn’t easy but, lifestyle changes are for keeps. 

From roller skating to bike riding or even walking on the treadmill, fitness is now an everyday part of our routines. Cindy and take the stairs now. We don’t need Jenny Craig because we’ve learned what to eat and what to buy. We’ve learned about our metabolisms and found that the Keto Diet might work for some folks but, long term, it wasn’t the answer for us. 

My niece Leigh Ann had gastric bypass surgery in 2018 and has lost 100 lbs. although Cindy and I both wanted the surgery, our health insurance had a rider preventing weight loss surgery. 

After realizing how difficult the lifestyle changes were for Leigh Ann, I’m glad Cindy and I chose the organic way of losing weight. Leigh Ann has lost 100 lbs in one year. She’s now full of energy and proud of the journey.Losing weight is essential to good health. Our family struggles with diabetes and heart disease. 

I’m glad that Cindy and I “saddled up” to get healthy together the natural way and that the surgery worked for my niece who has struggled with obesity most of her life.With Leigh Ann’s daughter, Madyson, Leigh knew it was time to make a change and lose the weight in order to keep up with little Maddy who is a handful at times and always full of energy. 

Weight loss surgery was the right choice for Leigh Ann and she couldn’t be happier about it. 

For the first time in many years, Leigh can buy clothes at regular shops and loves the energy weight loss surgery finally gave her. It’s a lifetime of monitoring what she eats but, she would do it again. 

Madyson is my youngest grandniece and keeps us all laughing with her curiosity, energy and personality. The twins and Maddy enjoy fruit far more than vegetables but, we are working on variety for all three of Cindy’s granddaughters. 

Filming is always fun with my twin sister who brought the laughs to the set although Cat didn’t always understand my sister and her saucy quotes. 

While I can usually understand Cindy’s quick whit when others don’t, by the time they catch on, I generally know what she’s saying and it’s always funny. 

We’ve filmed together many times and it’s hard for me not to laugh when others need a few moments to “grasp the content.” Cindy’s sassy and smart and I’ve yet to see her not have a hilarious spin when we are being interviewed. 

We were never bored on our yearling weight loss journey. In fact, we were “Busier than a Dallas Department Store during Texas Tax Free Weekend.” 

“Obesity doesn’t thrive without your participation. It’s up to you to put the fork down.” 

If you missed the show, This Time Next Year, we were on Episode 8.

Season 1, Episode 8

Twins Are Twice as Fun

First Aired: March 13, 2018

“A formerly obese woman hopes to have the excess skin left by her 200 pound weight loss removed; a blind woman seeking to get and train her very first guide dog; a set of Texan twins hoping to lose weight together; a young woman who suffered an accident and needs extensive plastic surgery to repair her face and her confidence; and a man who needs to lose weight to become the super hero he has always wanted to be.”

I for one thought the storylines were fresh and unique. We followed everyone else’s journey and kept up with them on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. 

Cindy and I made a pact to never let our weight go again and we’ve had a few laughs about new foods and fiber. 

Chad fell out with a few of his family members after he reunion. We also found that he had over 2k in tickets for toll roads he hadn’t paid which opened our eyes about bartering vehicles. From mechanical problems to parking or even traffic tickets, folks aren’t always honest about the “details.” 

The bonus of finding my mother was finding our sister Tammy again. We are making up for lost time even today. 

Cindy and I hit the dance floor at Tammy’s daughter, Kori’s  wedding in Lompoc which is something neither of us had ever done before but, thanks to our weight loss journey, we had the energy for it.We learned that going off your diet now and then is okay. You can get right back up on that horse and ride weight gain off again. You can learn to be accountable and while fitness isn’t always fun, the older you get, the more valuable it is to your health. 

Whether you simply walk or hit the circuit at the gym, don’t worry about fitting in. You aren’t there to make friends. You are there to get fit. Sure, it helps to have a buddy but, if you are “going it alone,” bring music and entertain yourself.We didn’t run out and buy workout clothes either. We wore what we had and Cindy found “I hate running” shirts in every color at Walmart for her “gym outfits.” We weren’t dressing up in full makeup to hit the gym although a few folks were. We felt as welcome as a rattlesnake as a Rodeo to the skinny (or young) folks at the gym. Why? We had a twofer going against us at the gym. What was it? We were not only overweight in the beginning of our weight loss journey but also, old. 

We shook off “being popular” at the gym and focused on our journey. Twinning is winning…we do everything together.